Forbes reports on Kent Hovind's Innocence Claims

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paynen's picture

Such a shame. His creation science materials were top notch... significantly better than AiG. I was saved through his ministry. I guess it is just a norm for large scale Creation Science personalities to go a bit crazy as they feel they constantly need to be looking over their shoulder for people out to get them.

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"Already in prison since January 2007 for failure to pay federal taxes, for structuring various bank transactions to evade reporting requirements, and for attempting to obstruct administration of the U.S. internal revenue laws, Young Earth Creationist and Sovereign Citizen proponent Kent Hovind has had a raft of new charges laid against him for the filing of lis pendens liens on property deemed forfeited to pay for earlier unpaid taxes.[132] The filing of these liens had been earlier forbidden by a court. Hovind during his incarceration has relied increasingly on Sovereign Citizen arguments, denying his U.S Citizenship and declaring "Democracy is evil and contrary to God's law". Hovind's co-defendant is Paul J. Hansen, another Sovereign Citizen advocate. In filings before the court relating to the upcoming trial, both have made lengthy submissions which recycle typical Sovereign Citizen tropes, such as "withdrawing consent for the proceedings", denial of jurisdiction, invocation of maritime law, the attempted convocation of unsanctioned citizen grand juries, and which threaten the judge personally, claiming that as representatives of a fraudulent government that has "made war on the people" and which "contravenes Divine Law", that they lack any immunity from consequences in the discharge of their public duties.[133][134] Their trial is presently scheduled for February 2015 in Florida."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_citizen_movement

 

Mark_Smith's picture

paynen or anyone else. I had minimal contact with Hovind and his materials. Can you please post one thing that made his materials better than AiG, just so I know what you liked about it?

paynen's picture

Don't get me wrong AiG materials have their place. But they tend to be lacking real scientific depth in content. That being said they aim at a more popular level and are probably better for young children. I was saved in high school and really found the depth of Hovind's scientific knowledge impressive. That being said from what I've seen now ICR which stems from Henry Morris is probably the best overall as far as material is concerned. They have a significant number of Scientists as it is a research institute. The problem with ICR is that their materials are expensive.

Bottom of the line is both ICR has significant backing from scientists. Hovind had a background in science and taught it. AiG tends to be more of a popular group that takes what a lot of scientists outside their organization do and bring it to people in churches. Yet they have little scientific experience themselves.

The other issue I have had with Kent Hovind lately is that he has become more embroiled in psuedo-political issues. His whole bill board argument with atheists reminds me of children who sit around and argue whose dad can beat up who.. Overall AiG has just gotten to big for its britches its lost a lot of its original purpose.

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"Dr. Hovind’s trial has been postponed again. It is now scheduled for the week of March 2nd."

http://www.kenthovindblog.com/

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"The government asked this week that the trial be to rescheduled to March because the federal attorney assigned to the case was temporarily out of the office with a family emergency. Chief District Judge M.Casey Rodgers granted the motion Wednesday morning despite opposition from Hovind."

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/crime/2015/01/28/dr-dino-trial-delayed-march/22465633/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

 

Jim's picture

paynen wrote:
. Hovind had a background in science and taught it.

Here's his background in science:

In 1971, he graduated from East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. From 1972 to 1974, Hovind attended the non-accredited Midwestern Baptist College and received a Bachelor of Religious Education.Patriot University In 1988 and 1991 respectively,

Hovind was awarded a master's degree and doctorate in Christian Education through correspondence from the non-accredited Patriot University in Colorado Springs, Colorado (now Patriot Bible University in Del Norte, Colorado, which no longer offers this program).

Having a website called "Dr. Dino" has provoked some academics to look closely at how Hovind presents his education and credentials. Barbara Forrest, a professor of philosophy, expert on the history of creationism and activist in the creation-evolution controversy, wrote that Hovind's lack of academic training makes it impossible to engage him on a professional level

Patriot Bible University is a diploma mill, as it has unreasonably low graduation requirements, lack of sufficient faculty or educational standards, and a suspicious tuition scheme.The school's current policies allow students to attain bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and Doctor of Ministry degrees in months, rather than years, for as little as $37 per credit. Bartelt has stated that Hovind's doctoral dissertation is evidence of the poor requirements at Patriot and that Hovind lacks knowledge of basic science.[15] She noted that Hovind's dissertation is incomplete (it contains four chapters totaling 101 pages, but Hovind's introduction claims the work is 250 pages with 16 chapters), of low academic quality, with poor writing, poor spelling, and poor grammatical style. Bartelt asserts that pages are repeated, references are absent, and it is not an original work with original ideas.

My conclusion (and I have followed this guy for years): He is a huckster and a tax scofflaw.

paynen's picture

Have you viewed any of his materials? They were quite legitimate... The issue is he also equated the government with evil. He truly wanted to help people and bring creation to light. And his son's current ministry is an example of that done right. His view of government and its conspiracies is wrong and it lead him to the state he is in now. I don't think it is fair of you to claim that his ministry was all a scheme to take advantage of people and take their money.

Jim's picture

http://www.wnd.com/2009/05/98757/

Hovind commends AIG for their work:

An evangelical organization with similar aims, Answers in Genesis, has distanced itself from some of Hovind’s teachings. An exchange between AIG’s Ken Ham and Hovind began in 2003 when AIG published a list of Arguments We Think Creationists Should Not Use.” Hovind saw many of his arguments in the list and responded to Ham. Asked about the outcome, Eric Hovind told WND Answers in Genesis “has done a great job of reminding creationists to be accountable for what we teach, and for that I’m grateful.

Also many laughable comments about paying taxes. (As we all are either preparing or thinking about preparing our taxes, do you think we could get away with this?!)

Hovind argues he took a vow of poverty as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, therefore, owns nothing and receives no income. All of his needs are taken care of by the ministry, he explains.

In 1996, Kent Hovind tried to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying federal income taxes. He told a judge at a hearing he did not believe the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office “have jurisdiction in this matter.”

“I sincerely believe that I am not a person required to file a Federal Income Tax Return,” he said. “This belief is a result of extensive research that I have done.”

Asked by the judge where he lived, Hovind replied, “I live in the church of Jesus Christ, which is located all over the world. I have no residence.”

Kent Hovind has stated he believes the Bible “teaches us to obey the authority over us.”

But he contends the “IRS is not the authority over me any more than the government of Japan is.

Eric Hovind said he can see how “the majority of people would look at my dad and say, ‘Hey you’re refusing to pay a tax that you owe.’ The question is do you owe that tax?”

As an ordained minister, he said, his father “paid no taxes, because he didn’t make any money.”

“The ministry was set up in a way that it provided for his needs,” he said. “Not all his wants and desires, but his needs. He didn’t live a lavish lifestyle. And he had zero income.”

Bert Perry's picture

Regarding his citizenship arguments, if being a non-citizen allowed a man to not pay taxes, that fact escaped our Lord, who did pay the Temple tax out of reverence for Caesar.  Cool way of paying it, but He paid it nonetheless, and He was definitely not a Roman citizen like Paul.  For that matter, Paul was addressing mostly non-citizens in Romans 13.  So Hovind's got a pretty interesting Biblical wall against his theories, to put it mildly.

Paynen, I cannot speak to my view of Hovind's arguments, as I've not the time to review them (nor are they relevant these days given his legal status), but as much as I would agree that AIG sometimes uses rather "lightweight" arguments scientifically, even they took the time to dismantle a bunch of Hovind's.  There is a difference at times between a true scientist and a "huckster" (to use Jim's words) who makes scientific-y-sounding claims, but without scientific heft.  

For that matter, his legalish is a great part of the reason he's in jail, no?  I think that he's finally run into people who can explain his hucksterism before a jury, really.  Hopefully that happens with people like Al Sharpton soon, too.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

paynen wrote:
I don't think it is fair of you to claim that his ministry was all a scheme to take advantage of people and take their money.

Answer: I said "My conclusion (and I have followed this guy for years): He is a huckster and a tax scofflaw." He was convicted of the tax scofflaw part. And he peddled error with regard to paying taxes. 

paynen's picture

Hovind's ministry as a presentation used far stronger scientific arguments then I have ever seen AiG use. In regards to his lecture series I believe they are still sold and in use fairly widely. my frustrations with Jim's comments are not regarding any issues he has had with the law. I agree with those. My original comment on this post was to state the sadness with which it is to see a man who had a good creation ministry and clearly communicated the gospel in a state such as he is in. His ministry was legitimate, he was passionate and knowledgeable about creation and the Gospel and communicated that with expertise. His fall came in his belief that the government had no authority over him and that he was being persecuted for being a Christian. 

There is a difference between someone who is out to make a buck and is just trying to avoid taxes, And a man who truly believes the government and all its functions are corrupt and evil and that they have no place in his life. However wrong he was, he was passionate about God and His ministry. I am not trying to defend what he has done. It is completely wrong and their is no defense for it.. but the words you stated insinuate that his intent was to pull one over on the people he ministered to.

 

DLCreed's picture

I concur with your opinion, Jim.  I took over a very large Christian school years ago and walked in the science rooms to find a shelf of Hovind's videotapes. (It WAS years ago.)  After doing a brief research and examination, I immediately had them pulled off and replaced with credible materials from well-educated sources.  To compare Hovind's stuff with AiG is like comparing Hyles-Anderson scholarship to Cedarville's.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I cannot agree with you more. I'm not sure how anybody could compare Hovind's work (yes, I've watched all his videos) to something like, say, Answers Research Journal (AIG). 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

paynen's picture

Perhaps it is because I am relatively new to the game. To me even looking back at CSE materials especially the still sold Creation Seminar of Dr. Hovind they are high quality, and good science. Entry level, but good. Whenever I see anything from AiG nowadays its stuff like this

https://answersingenesis.org/religious-freedom/

They are just political nowadays... All that being said ICR is clearly the best resources out there especially with some of the weird things AiG has done lately.

 

Jim's picture

paynen wrote:
ICR is clearly the best resources out there especially with some of the weird things AiG has done lately.

 

Agreed 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” (Matthew 17:24-27 ESV)

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"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

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...in contrast, Kent Hovind denies his U.S. citizenship, subverts the legal process, and flouts governing authorities.

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

How does one proceed from what is contained in Romans 13:1-7 (see post above) to a position of "I deny I'm a U.S. citizen, therefore I'm not subject to U.S. tax laws, and you have no jurisdiction over me" (which is in essence Hovind's "defense")?

 

Brian Dempsey's picture

I am in the kind of cool position of being geographically near AIG (about 40 minutes), and having several of their employees attend our church (Dr. Terry Mortenson being one). I have interacted with Terry about the Billboard thing...completely disagree with what AIG did there. Not even worth a debate. But to critique AIG for being popular level is like criticizing ICR for being too technical. The guys at AIG to my knowledge would consider themselves as partners with groups like ICR, and not in competition. As such, AIG fills a specific role in that they target a popular audience, and they do it for specific reasons. However, to say that is all they did is a disservice. Someone above mentioned the Answers Research Journal, which is a technical journal. Also, to suggest that they don't have a lot of good scientists is hugely minimalistic. Dr. Mortenson and Dr. Snelling are geology guys, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Menton are both medical doctors, Dr. Purdom is a geneticist, and I can't remember Dr. Faulkner's specialty at this point. They have others as well. I can see how on the face of things they look like they are only for a popular audience, but if you take time to dig a little deeper, you will find that some of these men and women are brilliant (and accomplished) in their fields. Not perfect, and as I mentioned above, I totally dislike the whole billboard thing. But I love their VBS and Sunday School materials.
 

Brian Dempsey
Pastor, WBC
I Cor. 10:31

 

Greg Long's picture

We are having an AiG conference at our church Feb. 15-16. Smile

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

paynen's picture

The current issue with AiG isn't the popular way in which they promote their views... It has become the directions they have been taking recently. I was subscribed to Ken Ham's blog for awhile and I stopped because every article I would get would be about some group or organization who said something negative about AiG or is persecuting creationists... That has become the public focus of AiG in a lot of what they do. They push an us against the world mentality. Even in their most recent VBS drama they had a bit of a persecution/politics undertone. All I want to hear from an organization like AiG is science... and even if they do have good work still going on at home base... well that isn't what they really push. They've also branched out into other areas like Sunday School and obviously VBS... Right now they've just gotten too big for their breeches.

Brian Dempsey's picture

I can concede that the ministry places too much emphasis in the political sphere at times. However, you have to understand as well that at their core, AIG is not a strictly scientific organization. They would label themselves as an apologetics group that emphasizes creationism. So, anytime they see the authority of scripture some under attack, you are going to see them push back. That being said, there are definitely times when they go a little overboard. When they do, I think it would behoove us to contact them and let them know (as I did with the whole billboard thing). "Branching out into other areas" is really not branching out, is it? I mean, they are simply putting their message of Creation/Apologetics/Authority of scripture into various formats in order to make them more accessible to more people. I don't subscribe to any of their blogs, for the reasons you stated above, but my overall analysis would be that it is a ministry worth following and using as a resource. Just on a side note....if you've never been to the Creation Museum, it is worth the trip....and since we are so close we are happy to house families coming through!

Brian Dempsey
Pastor, WBC
I Cor. 10:31

 

Larry Nelson's picture

Jim wrote:

AIG "jumped the shark" with the Ark project

AIG's "Ark" is in the news just this week:

"The religious organization planning a Noah's Ark theme park in Grant County filed a federal lawsuit against state officials Thursday for rejecting its application for tax incentives to help finance the park."

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2015/02/05/ark-developers-sue-tax-incentives/22944035/

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Another recent news story:

"The proposed Noah's Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky would attract up to 640,000 visitors in its best year, according to a consultant who studied the project's economic impact for the state. That's far less than the 1.2 million to 2.2 million visitors estimated by the project's developers."

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2015/01/21/ark-park-attendance-projections-reduced-report-finds/22104537/

[For comparison, annual attendance at AIG's Creation Museum has been around 250,000 in the past couple of years.  For further comparison, Chicago's well-known Museum of Science and Industry has about 1,400,000 visitors annually.]

 

Jim's picture

Ark developers sue for tax incentives

Answers in Genesis, developer of the Ark Encounter project, announced this week that it would file the lawsuit, which contends the state's denial amounts to discrimination against the group's Christian faith. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said in a press release that the lawsuit "details how this action by Kentucky officials, including Gov. Steve Beshear ... violates federal and state law and undermines our constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom." The 48-page suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Frankfort. It names Beshear and state Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart as defendants in the case.

Honestly ... this is laughable!

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Rather than the "discrimination" that the suit alleges, Kentucky simply looked at the tax-incentive request (and its wildly over-optimistic revenue projections) and concluded that it was not a prudent use of $18M of state funding authority.

 

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, I tend to agree that you are correct about how things ought to be, but it strikes me that enough people close to the decision have mentioned the religion angle to make it possible that it could go the other way.  And if you're right--and I think, again, you at least ought to be--that is a huge, unforced error by the state of Kentucky.  

 

Also, regarding the comparison with Science & Industry (my third favorite museum in Chicago after the Field and the Adler), it strikes me that most schoolkids in the metro make at least one trip there annually.  So comparing numbers is something of a numbers game there.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

paynen's picture

This is why I made my comments regarding AiG. Its joined the game of political circus.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I completely disagree with what's being said here about AiG. There have been several errors:

  • Kentucky bailed on the tax incentive program because they're concerned AiG's will evangelize folks who come. Their letter to AiG said so. AiG has the letter on their website. It was not due to low attendance projections
  • AiG was not getting money from Kentucky. They applied for tax breaks. That is quite different. AiG is funding the project; it is not being built with state money.
  • The lawsuit is over alleged religious discrimination, because Kentucky, AiG alleges, has no right to deny tax incentives to projects because the state disagrees with the religious stance of an organization. I believe they make a good point. As a Baptist, I wouldn't even want a group like American Atheists to lose out on similar incentives, if they were so inclined.  

Disagree with AiG all you want - at least accurately report the issues. I could hunt around for hyperlinks for my bulletpoints (above), but I don't have time. If you're really interested, it won't take you long to find documentation of what I said. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Also, regarding the comparison with Science & Industry (my third favorite museum in Chicago after the Field and the Adler), it strikes me that most schoolkids in the metro make at least one trip there annually.  So comparing numbers is something of a numbers game there.

Yep: that 1.4M includes kids from dozens of schoolbuses that arrive daily throughout the schoolyear.

And yet AIG purports to expect 1.2M - 2.2M attendees annually in rural, northern KY.

 

BTW, don't leave out the Art Institute of Chicago!:

http://www.artic.edu/

 

 

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